In the quest for weight loss, cutting corners (and calories) by choosing fat free or ultra low-calorie foods seems like a no-brainer—chewing gum to quell hunger or spraying rather than tossing your salad with dressing, for example. But in some cases, certain "diet" foods can do more harm than good and won't get you any closer to your weight loss goals, says Laura Cipullo, an RD and CDE in private practice in New York City.
Here are six "guilt-free" foods that won't do you any favors.
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Chocolate cravings are a fact of dieting, and squirting a little chocolate syrup in a glass of nonfat milk might seem like a good way to quash the cocoa beast. But it's actually no different than "regular" chocolate syrup, according to Cipullo. How is that possible? Marketing. "Chocolate syrup is fat-free naturally," she says. "It needs the addition of a fat like cocoa butter or heavy cream, in which case it becomes fudge sauce."
If you see this on store shelve, take a look around and see if you can find its "regular" counterpart, then compare the ingredients list. They are exactly the same, but companies slap a fat-free label on the same product to appeal to the dieting crowd. Go for some healthy and satiating dark chocolate instead, which studies show can actually dampen appetite.